Siege Diaries 6/6/2021

Today’s Daily Stoic writing prompt: Is this a time to stick or quit?

One of the lessons taught in project management courses is the concept of sunk costs–that is, how to evaluate what work, time, or money has already gone into a project and how far you’ve gone towards achieving your objective–or whether that objective is even still viable. This is, essentially, the “stick or quit” idea, and it’s a decision based on an assessment of the facts–but also may involve emotion.

In the current pandemic situation, as time has passed, more lessons have been learned. For instance, the idea of sanitizing everything as a way to prevent illness has largely been supplanted by the need to make sure ventilation is good and masks are up to the task. Yet there are still a lot of companies with sanitizer everywhere, and talking about all the steps they’re taking to “deep clean.” Clearly, they have sunk costs in this particular measure. Ventilation is harder–it may take significant infrastructure improvements–but at this stage it’s really time to quit talking about cleaning and to start talking about those long-term improvements that, as it turns out, may be helpful in preventing spread of more diseases beyond COVID-19.

Similarly, I’ve had my first shot. I could decide that that’s enough. But I’m not, because evidence seems to show that the delta variant may require both doses to combat. So I’m keeping the mask on, and I’m not pushing it. At this point, the spend seems to be worth it, and the risks far outweigh the benefits of changing my behaviour at this point.

I’ve spent the majority of the day in front of the computer. First, there was a Zoom call with the CWH Sunday crew (great to see the guy who recently had surgery for colon cancer doing well), then both RPGs. I also spent most of the time embroidering, coming to the conclusion along the way that I should probably order more thread because there’s going to be a LOT of the dark brown required, plus this is going to take some lighter browns as well. But I made a ton of progress, and am very happy with the silhouette part. There’s likely not to be much else that’s terribly difficult, but there is going to be a lot of stitching (and taking the photo has shown me already a few gaps in the fill. I’ll go back and fill those in, possibly even later this evening.

Right now, it’s not even dark yet. We are just about two days from the solstice. Today was an absolute scorcher–but because I spent most of it in the basement, I actually wore a sweatshirt. I’m feeling the need to pop outside briefly and enjoy the early night air, and I might once I’ve completed listening to the Shostakovich 10th symphony.

I also recalled that today is the 77th anniversary of D-Day. I still remember the aftermath two years ago from the 75th anniversary gala at the Museum, picking up an enamel pin and other left-behind pieces of swag. It may be mid-July before we can open again this year, but really, really hoping that when it does, it’s for good this time. It’ll be right around the time I should be eligible for my second shot. Today’s COVID cases: lowest since October 18 of last year, case positivity now at 2.8%. We are now about eight days from when the first “reopening” steps might take place. It would be really amazing if that case count could drop below 500.

Tomorrow, I’m hoping to write something a little different. All of the photos of the final days of my old high school building have made me pensive, and tomorrow is the thirty-sixth anniversary (scary? rather…) of my high school graduation. I found the copy of the speech I made (as part of a group of five of the twelve valedictorians) and, with those recent images in my mind, it’s evoked some interesting thoughts.